Spot the ploy

Brian Monteith is right.

That may seem like a very surprising thing for anyone to say. But within the context of his own fantasy, Brian Monteith’s analysis makes perfect sense. In terms of his delusions about Brexit; his caricature of the SNP; and his unquestioning regard for the British state, it all seems totally reasonable.

If the EU was what he supposes it to be, Brexit would be a no-brainer rather than the unmitigated fiasco that it actually is. If the SNP was like it is in the wee cartoons running in Brian Monteith’s head, it’s demise as a political force in Scotland and the UK really would be imminent and deserved and its continuing, extraordinary popularity would be an inexplicable phenomenon.

If the British state was the exemplar of democracy and good governance that he imagines, the whole world would be a very different place.

Brian Monteith is right, because he has formed his conclusions around a set of assumptions and preconceptions informed exclusively by his prejudices. He has constructed an imaginary world in which he can only be right. If you are part of that world, you will simply accept everything he says as self-evidently true.

For the rest of us, the stuff about the imminent demise of the SNP sounds more like a fervent British nationalist prayer than an account of what is actually happening here in the real world. Hard-line unionists so desperately crave a return to the comfortable and comforting routine of British two-party politics that it’s easy for them to convince themselves this is actually about to happen – despite all evidence to the contrary. This ‘faith politics’ also explains the eagerness with which they embrace the idea of Scotland as a benighted land of constant crisis and catastrophe where nothing functions and everything fails.

British nationalists need their mindless hatred of the SNP to be a generalised thing, so they have to believe the propaganda which portrays Scotland as a ‘failed state’, because this implies conditions which make that unreasoning hatred seem reasonable.

I anticipate people protesting that it is unjust to describe Brian Monteith as a hard-line unionist. After all, does he not allow that “there is a rational case for Scottish independence”? Would a British nationalist make such a concession? Not for the first time, I would suggest that these people are not asking the pertinent question. They should be asking WHY a known British nationalist like Brian Monteith is saying such a thing. They are forgetting the first rule of Scottish politics. They are forgetting the lessons of the first referendum campaign and its aftermath – always assume that British nationalists are being devious, deceitful or dishonest.

When we look for the ulterior motive – as we must – it is not hard to find. The main purpose of Brian Monteith’s article is to exploit a potential weakness in the independence movement by encouraging those who put their antipathy towards the EU before the goal of restoring Scotland’s rightful constitutional status. It’s the old divide-and-conquer routine.

And Brian Monteith has got it right again! He is undoubtedly justified in thinking even a ploy this crude and clumsy might work. The unfortunate truth is that there are more than a few supposed independence supporters who will fall for it.

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6 thoughts on “Spot the ploy

    1. Peter A Bell

      Except that the question of Scotland’s status vis-a-vis the EU cannot possibly be decided until after independence. I would hope that you understand and accept the priorities.

  1. Corrado Mella

    Peter, your supposition that any supporter of independence could be swayed by anything published by one of the most disgraced daily rags has an inherent fallacy.

    Anyone that reads, listens or watches anything from such spiteful media without immediate revulsion, disdain and rejection is no friend of independence.

    Those whose resolve can be swayed by the echoes of someone else’s cognitive dissonance are a liability.

    1. Peter A Bell

      The point is not that they might be swayed by Brian Monteith, but that they might be so obsessive about the EU as to undermine the independence campaign. We know that such people exist. The names Jim Sillars and Jim Fairlie spring to mind. Monteith simply imagines he is encouraging such people.

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